Game of Thrones: Mechanics of Ingenuity
SPOILER ALERT! Utter silence. With one fell swoop of the executioner’s sword, Eddard Stark’s head rolls along the floor, gathering the dust at King’s Landing. Getting away with killing your […]
Utter silence. With one fell swoop of the executioner’s sword, Eddard Stark’s head rolls along the floor, gathering the dust at King’s Landing. Getting away with killing your lead character at the end of the first season is a spectacular heist, in any storyline. However, let’s not forget that Game of Thrones is not a generic TV drama, but a renovation of several genres and the child of a multi-million dollar production budget. What is it that really separates this show from the rest of its cinematic competitors?
Let’s take a show like Suits. I love Suits. Who the hell doesn’t? Harvey comes to work wearing a new Tom Ford suit; Harvey banters with Mike; Harvey spends thirty-five minutes victoriously pulling a case out of the jaws of defeat. Bravo! Everyone is happy and we return to our lives. This cathartic pattern that TV shows tend to follow is a classic format that dates back antiquity: “antagonist/adversity — victory in sight — twist — deus ex machina/eureka — they lived happily ever after”. Game of Thrones avoids such formulas. Although rather convoluted and riddled with dozens of key characters, the show has proven to be hugely successful. This is primarily due to the fact that it took the fairy-tale ending, broke its neck and threw it out the window, leaving its audience in shock and pleading for more. It hit the note of popularity thanks to its revival of lost genres. It brought together a Tolkien-esque world with the scheming and relentless characters of The Sopranos and the intensity of 24.
At times Game of Thrones holds you by the collar as it throws gruesome violence, tasteful pornography and sporadic horror at you. Moments later, you find yourself emotionally attached to certain characters, listening closely to an intense tête-à-tête between Tyrion and Cersei. It is essentially the politics of House of Cards in a fantasy medium, allowing the directors to endlessly mould and manipulate this masterpiece of a TV series. This is precisely why you can decapitate the lead character; in fact, it is a positive move. It opens up numerous possibilities and throws the audience into disarray and curiosity as they sit impatiently waiting for next week’s episode. Do remember that the series is based on George R. R. Martin’s ingenious A Song of Ice and Fire. While it is Martin whom we must credit with the mechanics of this fantasy world, the plot and intriguing characters, it is the all-star cast, paired with brilliant cinematic direction, that brings this chef-d’oeuvre together. Prominent actors are eagerly lining up for new roles – British thespian and TV veteran Ciarán Hinds being the most recent addition to this arsenal of actors.
The magic of this opus lies within its unconventional nature and innovative plot. It can’t help but appeal to all audiences, because underneath the fictional surface is a rather real manifestation of human life: love, war, greed, death, treachery, etc… But it is the supernatural bouquet within which it is presented that brings this show to life, undoubtedly securing Game of Thrones’ stellar reputation.
Image courtesy of http://iceandfire.wikia.com/wiki/Eddard_Stark